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Nikon 1200 Monarch

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2008 at 18:31
azsixshooter View Drop Down
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Hi Guys,

I'm beginning the process of shopping for a nice long-distance laser range finder. I'm interested in long-distance shooting for recreation, but I also plan on hunting antelope with my 6.5x55SE if I ever get drawn. First and foremost I am a bowhunter, but I'm willing to give up the benefits of a RF that is geared towards bow hunting for 1000+ yard performance. Still, I would like the RF to be able to measure distances accurately at short range (0 - 50 yards) as well as long distances so that I can use it for bow hunting too.

My price range is ~$400, give or take $20 or so. The first one that has caught my eye is the Nikon Monarch 1200...but I haven't found any reviews on this forum of that model. I own Nikon Monarch 10x42 binos and really like them a lot. I would certainly be open to consider Leupold or any other well-respected brand as well. I was thinking that 6x might be a decent compromise for using at both short and long ranges, but please let me know if it's too hard to see the dot at 1000+ yards with the 6x. I can always go 8x and then hope it's at least still usable, if not optimal, at closer distances.

Thanks!

Any advice or info is really appreciated and I look forward to contributing to these forums.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2008 at 19:13
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I have two of the Nikon range finders both are the 800 yd model and work well at bow distances.  When you get to long range objects like a metal car or metal building will reflect nicely and give you a great reading but telling what you are getting on an animal is tougher at long range.  If you are really going past about 600 yds I'd save up and go with this :
40523 Leica 7x24 CRF 1200 Rangefinder (Yards)                                                                                 Leica 7x24 CRF 1200 Rangefinder (Yards)
  • Black
  • Compact
  • Waterproof
  • Ranges from 10 to 1,200 yards
SWFA: $699.00
More Info... Buy Now
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2008 at 19:27
azsixshooter View Drop Down
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So the weak point of the Nikon 1200 is that it's hard to get a reading past 600 yards unless it's something shiny? I'm hoping to use this as a kind of a trainer to help me get better at eyeballing distances so I was hoping to be able to use it on rocks, trees, fenceposts, etc.

I'm sure that Leica one is nice, but that is really pricey. I would definitely like to limit my first purchase of a RF to ~$400, even if that limits me to 800 yards.

Does the Nikon 1200 completely suck or something? I'd like to hear from anyone who has one, what they think and would they buy it again.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/22/2008 at 18:05
trigger29 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:

I have two of the Nikon range finders both are the 800 yd model and work well at bow distances.  When you get to long range objects like a metal car or metal building will reflect nicely and give you a great reading but telling what you are getting on an animal is tougher at long range.  If you are really going past about 600 yds I'd save up and go with this :
40523 Leica 7x24 CRF 1200 Rangefinder (Yards)                                                                                 Leica 7x24 CRF 1200 Rangefinder (Yards)
  • Black
  • Compact
  • Waterproof
  • Ranges from 10 to 1,200 yards
SWFA: $699.00
More Info... Buy Now
 
I agree with this. I pitched other rangefinders to get a Leica. They do what they are supposed to do........Give ranges. Everytime. As far as they say they will. I don't want a 600 yard rangefinder that only ranges deer to 300. At 300 yards you don't need a rangefinder anyway. If you want to shoot LONG ranges, this is the price point you should be looking at. Just my opinion, I wasted money on lesser RF's, and wouldn't go through the frustration again.
 
Sorry forgot to add: Welcome to the Optics Talk.
(I know that post didn't look like a welcome, but rangefinders irritated me for a long time.)


Edited by trigger29 - December/22/2008 at 18:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2008 at 03:55
azsixshooter View Drop Down
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That's a drag, I hate to spend so much but I definitely don't want to get burned on a cheaper one that I won't like. I guess for now I will just accept that a laser rangefinder is outside of my reach and think of some other ways of estimating ranges.

Thanks for all the honest feedback though, I really appreciate you guys saving me the frustration of getting "stuck" with a piece of junk that doesn't work the way I expected it too. I had a guy offer me a Nikon 1200 for $290 and I was tempted to go with that, but after hearing all of this, not really knowing the guy well, no chance of 30-day return or manufacturer warranty I'm glad I passed on it.

And thanks for the welcome to the board. I'm getting more and more interested in optics the more I hunt and I expect to be hanging around here a lot more as I'd like to get some new binoculars and a spotting scope in addition to someday getting a decent 1000+ yard RF.

Quick story: On Christmas Eve (day) I was bow hunting the Black Hills of AZ. I had scouted out a nice wooded slope on the north side of a hill and was trying to sneak over there to see if it was holding deer. I planned to move through a basin on the east side of the hill and make my way over there to that wooded slope. I approached the basin from below the south rim and before I sky-lined myself I set down my bow and crawled up to the edge under a big juniper tree. I glassed the far side of the basin (around 900 yards or so across) and sure enough I spotted a bedded down doe scanning the basin. I backed off and made my way back around the hill and came up and over from the west side approaching from behind the doe. I prowled around in the woods she was in and didn't find anything but a lot of fresh sign. I moved over to the north side and right when I popped up on some rocky cliffs on the north slope 4 large does that were in the wooded area below ran down and across a valley. A moment later a little fawn broke out after them. I watched them through my binos while they stood and waited for the fawn to catch up then they all walked off down a trail about 3/4 mile away. I moved a little bit east along those rocky cliffs and bumped another deer that ran down and off of the slope and headed up a wooded creek. A little further still and I popped up on that edge and there was a doe standing up about 15 yards away looking right at me, but quartered away. She held for about 3 seconds and then bounded off. Had it been a buck, I think I would have had him dead to rights.

I think if I hadn't originally glassed that basin that first doe would have busted me the second I stepped out from behind that tree and retreated with all her buddies to the next county. If that would have happened I probably wouldn't have seen any deer at all over there on that north slope by the time I got over there. So I just thought you all might be interested in that little story since it was my Nikon Monarch 10x42 ATB's that offered me a chance at some deer. Wasn't a buck this time, but it could have just as easily have been.

Thanks again for your help guys.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2009 at 06:44
azsixshooter View Drop Down
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I ended up buying the Leica 1200 CRF that you guys recommended last night. I like it a lot so far, thanks for the good suggestions. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2009 at 12:54
trigger29 View Drop Down
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I'm thinking you won't be dissapointed. I've loved every Leica ranging instrument I've ever picked up............that's only three........but I loved all three.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2009 at 03:40
azsixshooter View Drop Down
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I got lucky tonight, it's raining pretty good here in North Phoenix right now. I was outside ranging things and getting fine results. The furthest object I could see by standing out in the (empty) street was a neon strip club sign. In the dark and under a steady rain I ranged the dim post of that sign at 806 yards. The second furthest thing I could see from the surroundings of my work here (at 1am) is the side of a building at 611 yards. I ranged both of the targets earlier when I first got here in the daytime and before any rain. The numbers match so I know it's doing a good job in the rain and the dim light. I was ranging moving objects at night earlier before the rain out to 1000 yards before I'd lose them. I guess that's not bad for nighttime conditions.

I'm happy I got a chance to test it out in the rain so soon after getting it. I thought I was going to have to wait until the July monsoon showed up to really get to put it through the paces.

I was just outside testing the scan mode and that works really well in the rain. I was ranging passing cars and alternating between tracking the car and then ranging a distant telephone pole at 243 yards and back to tracking the car. I'm using both eyes open and that really works great for tracking moving objects. I ordered a new Trijicon Accupoint scope the other day. I chose the green illuminated mil-dot reticle, but after using this Leica for tracking moving objects with both eyes open and seeing how effective that is I'm starting to buy into the Bindon Aiming Concept. I have an elk hunt coming up and I would prefer to have the illuminated BAC post for that, but I will appreciate the mil-dot reticle with the green dot better for target shooting and antelope hunting. I still really want to try one though. Maybe I should put a Trijicon on my shotgun, that would be fun to try out the BAC post reticle at the sporting clays course at night.

I'm happy this Leica is working so well, especially in the rain since I plan on using it in all kinds of weather. I hope it stands up to the test of rough field use. I'll know by the end of January one way or another.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2009 at 08:28
RONK View Drop Down
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 Thanks for sharing your experiences, and welcome to OT!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2009 at 08:51
trigger29 View Drop Down
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I had my old Leica LRF 1200 out in some freezing rain, and snow, and just kept the lenses covered, and it worked fine. Unfortunately when it came time to shoot, my objective on my scope was iced up, and I couldn't see. It will fare fine in all conditions I'll bet.
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